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Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

Beat these nasties – if you can

Nightmare before downtime Blame cloud, blame DevOps, blame the increasingly prevalent trend towards managerial OCD, but server installations are becoming tidier.

The influx of suites and external suppliers, such as Amazon and Microsoft, means that as tech's become “transparent” the back room's become more presentable.

But you can’t blame tech’s equivalent of modern day’s building sites “improving the image of construction” for this new order.

Admit it: that nascent fascination with the organisation, that passion for process, that need for neat and tidy – that’s what attracted you to tech.

If it wasn’t then there wouldn’t be a very active sexy cable management thread on Imgur that went big Reddit this week.

But for every dream about satisfying cable arrangements there is the equivalent of a dirty thumbprint in the water glass over lunch. Moreover, for order there must first be chaos – isn’t that the story of creation? Here, then, are a selection of Reg readers' cabling horrors.

Jacob Ballard captured the server room he inherited on his new post at an unnamed US TV station:

Jacob Ballard cabling horror

The horror, the Ausomised horror

Kieran gave us what he called the hanger-cable-suspender-omatic – with a bent coat hanger wire used to suspend the cables between the cabinets in one of the comms rooms of a bank where he worked.

Kieran cabling horror

Going places a coat hanger was never meant to go

“Successive years of a 'zero budget' financing model for the IT department meant we had to get very imaginative with our solutions. I still to this day, hang my head in shame thinking about what I was forced to do to keep the place running. And before you ask, yes the cab on the right is wonky because of an unplugged hole in the floor,” Kieran told us.

Reader Nathan captured what his former employer’s server room looked like, back in 2003, right before everything was torn out and new gear installed.

Nathan cabling horrors

Pre rip-and-replace server-room spaghetti vomit

And Eric showed us what one of his company’s server rooms looked like when he arrived...

Eric cabling horrors

Insufficient room to swing a cat

...and the after effects of a cable-tie party.

Eric cabling horrors after

All that and a Garfield, too.

Got cabling and server horrors of your own that you’d like to share? Drop us an email with photos to: with the subject Nightmare before downtime. ®

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